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Canada-wide early learning and child care system creating 82,000 new child care spaces and making life more affordable for families

Press Release

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

December 5, 2023

Every family in Canada deserves access to high-quality child care when they need it and at a price that won’t break the bank. The Government of Canada is working closely with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to make this a reality.

Today, the Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development joined the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business, to provide an update on the Canada-wide early learning and child care system.

Since announcing plans for a Canada-wide system in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada has signed historic agreements with every province and territory, as part of its transformative $27 billion investment over five years. These agreements are already bearing fruit. To date, six provinces and territories are delivering regulated child care for an average of $10-a-day or less, and every other jurisdiction has reduced child care fees by at least 50%. These jurisdictions also remain on track to reach the federal target of reducing fees for regulated early learning and child care to an average of $10-a-day by March 2026.

Thanks to these fee reductions, families across Canada could save between approximately up to $2,000 and $14,300 annually for each child they have in regulated child care.

As part of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Government of Canada is supporting provinces and territories in the creation of 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026. These additional spaces will provide affordable child care options to families, no matter where they live, and support parents’ participation in the labour force, especially among mothers. To date, federal investments have supported provincial and territorial governments in announcing measures to create more than 82,000 new child care spaces. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provincial and territorial governments to expand the availability of affordable, high-quality regulated child care.

To build and maintain this system, we need qualified and well-supported educators, as they are the cornerstone of the child care system. The federal government remains committed to working with provincial and territorial governments to support the recruitment, retention and recognition of this essential workforce.

Building a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that works for families in every region of the country is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for families.

Quotes

“The roll-out of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system continues to be a success, from helping families save on child care expenses to making quality education available to all children. Each new space created brings us closer to our goal of creating 250,000 new spaces across the country by March 2026, and has a great impact in the community it serves. Access to early learning and child care programs and services is a priority for our government, and we will continue to work collaboratively with provinces and territories to ensure that affordable child care becomes a reality for all Canadian families.”
– The Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including investments in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
  • Six provinces and territories are currently delivering regulated child care for an average of $10-a-day or less. The goal is for all families in Canada to have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average cost of $10-a-day by March 2026.
  • As part of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system, the Government of Canada is supporting the creation of 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to give families affordable child care options, no matter where they live.
  • Delivering affordable child care is key to building a strong economy. For every dollar invested in early learning and child care, the Canadian economy makes a return of $1.50 to $2.80.
  • In many parts of Canada, labour force participation among core-aged mothers with young children has reached record-high levels of nearly 80%.

Associated links

Contacts

Soraya Lemur
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds
soraya.lemur@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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